TE Dave Moore has to work harder to remain in playing shape as he enters the later stages of his career
(Editor's Note: On March 3, tight end Dave Moore signed with the Buccaneers, the first of nearly 20 free agents to join the team in the month of March. Moore, a Buccaneer from 1992-2001, is back for his second stint in Tampa after two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. An avid fisherman, Moore also makes his home in the Bay area – on the water, of course – and he is thus in the perfect position to follow the team's 16-week offseason program to the letter. Beginning with the first week of April – the third week of the program and the onset of concurrent 'organized team activity' days – Moore will provide a weekly look at how he is preparing for the 2004 season. The series will run through July, before players take one more short vacation prior to training camp.)
We got started with the program here at One Buccaneer Place a couple weeks ago, but it kicked up another level this week with the beginning of OTAs.
The game of football has changed over the years, at least in the way we prepare. A long time ago, guys had a lot more freedom during the offseason. Things are much more structured now.
That's okay for me, because I want to get right back into a program and stay with it. As you get older, you have to stay in it more. You can't take as much time off because your body doesn't respond like it used to. It takes you too long to get back in it if you wait too long, so I'm getting right back on it, making sure I stay in shape.
Of course, it's easier for me to do that now that I'm back with the Buccaneers. It obviously makes it easier to follow the team's program when you're living in town. In Buffalo, we'd get a workout book and I would follow their program to some extent. I'd go up for the mini-camps and the OTAs, and I'd otherwise follow their system, but I'd do it on my own time. Here, I come in and work out with teammates because I live here. In Tampa, a lot more of the players live in town than in Buffalo.
This work is all voluntary, but I'm pretty much going to follow exactly what they've laid out. Even within a team's system, there are some things that guys do differently than the others. Some guys, for instance, take off more time before getting back into it. I've always seemed to do something to stay in it, and here I will follow Gie's (Strength and Conditioning Coach Garrett Giemont) routine, the weekly running and the lifting.
Every day I come in here I'm also working on learning the offense, because for me this is a whole new system, a whole new offense. Not much is left from my first time around here.
I do like this system a lot. I have some recall of it because I was in a similar system to this one my senior year in college at Pittsburgh, with Coach (Jon) Gruden, who was the receivers coach. Some of the concepts are the same. Now, it's true that we're 14 years removed from that, but along the way, with Sam Wyche we ran a system with some similar concepts. Of course, all the terminology is different even if the concepts are the same, and that takes some time to learn.
It's just a matter of coming in here, learning what to do and picking up on the details. I'm trying to get a good dose of it now, then over the next few weeks I hope to get a firm grasp on it.
I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to playing yet. When I played in this system before, I was primarily an H-back. I spent a lot of time in the backfield in motion. I'm not sure how it's going to unfold, but I have played a number of positions, and that's one of the things that I think they liked about me. I have played true fullback in the I formation, I have played H-back, I have played on the ball, so there are a lot of different areas I can play. I have long-snapped, and there are many ways I could contribute. I'm not sure exactly how (Gruden)'s planning on using me, but I think he likes the fact that I'm versatile. He likes to move guys around from different spots. I can see myself in the I, on the strong side, in motion, on the ball. I've been able to fill all those roles through the years.
I'm getting a better look at all the possibilities now that we've started our OTA days. We have three of them this week, then more after the draft. It's an opportunity for all of us to get together, run through plays. We have a lot of new faces around here, new guys in new positions, and we're all learning the offense together. I think it's really going to help us in the long run. I know it's helping me.